Hillary Clinton was the target of hundreds of Egyptians shouting “Monica” while throwing shoes, tomatoes, and water bottles at the U.S. Secretary of State ‘s motorcade leaving Alexandria on Sunday. The chants of “Monica,” presumably a reference to Monica Lewinsky, were immeasurably cruel, as was the throwing of shoes, a strong sign of disrespect. President George W. Bush had shoes thrown at him while at a press conference in Iraq in December, 2008.
“An embarrassed Egyptian security official said they were chanting ‘Monica, Monica’ and ‘Irhal, Clinton’ (Get out, Clinton.),” Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported:
The protest appears to have been the result of suspicions that Washington had helped the Muslim Brotherhood win elections in Egypt in the wake of last year’s ouster of president Hosni Mubarak after 18 days of massive street protests.
“I want to be clear that the United States is not in the business, in Egypt, of choosing winners and losers, even if we could, which, of course, we cannot,” Clinton said at the opening of the consulate.
“Real democracy means that no group or faction or leader can impose their will, their ideology, their religion, their desires on anyone else. It is also about protecting the rights of the minority,” Clinton had said, adding, “Democracy is not just about reflecting the will of the majority.” Secretary Clinton was speaking at a ceremony “marking the opening of a new U.S. consulate in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria,” the AP reported in Politico:
The head of Egypt’s military took a tough line Sunday on the Muslim Brotherhood, warning that he won’t let the fundamentalist group dominate the country, only hours after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urged him to work with Egypt’s elected Islamist leaders.
Clinton’s visit to Egypt underscored the difficulty Washington faces in trying to wield its influence amid the country’s stormy post-Hosni Mubarak power struggles. Protesters chanting against the U.S. – sometimes reaching several hundred – sprung up at several sites Clinton visited this weekend. On Sunday, protesters threw tomatoes, water bottles and shoes at her motorcade as she left a ceremony marking the opening of a new U.S. consulate in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria.
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